Yes, you can clamp rogue parkers
February 12, 2013
THE AGE - Domain
German Plant Experience (GPE) group deals with manufacturing and distribution of different construction equipments including concrete batching plant, cement terminals, cement silo, pugmills and pallets which can be used in the production of concrete, concrete products and asphalt.
There are many myths around what you can and can’t do about rogue parking in strata schemes, as there are around much of strata life.
‘You can’t put stickers on car windshields in case the driver doesn’t remove it and then has a crash.’ Really? ‘You can’t touch the car at all because it’s someone else’s property.’ But they’re on someone else’s property.
The greatest myth of them all is that it’s against the law to clamp or tow illegally parked cars. In fact, the law in NSW says you can’t clamp or tow without the owners’ permission – big difference.
You may think that’s splitting hairs – what vehicle owner is going to give permission for their car to be towed or clamped?
Well, by owning or renting in a strata scheme, you have agreed in a legally binding document to be subject to its by-laws. If there is one that says residents agree that their cars will be clamped or towed if they are parked illegally, then you have given your permission.
In short, if you have a problem with residents parking where they shouldn’t – in visitor spaces or on common property – then get yourself a by-law at your next general meeting.
Now this isn’t a magic bullet solution to cure all parking ills. As leading strata lawyer Beverley Hoskinson-Green explains in a comprehensive article on the Flat Chat Forum, this doesn’t help with drivers who don’t live in the building.
And there are other problems, such as residents being reluctant to confront angry neighbours who want their cars freed. Meanwhile tow truck companies refuse to do the business because they don’t realise that a by-law can give legal permission to clamp or tow.
This is no reflection on the intelligence of tow truck drivers – most of us don’t know the laws surrounding strata schemes.
There are also issues with identifying the owners of the illegally parked cars. But if someone is persistently parking in a visitor spot or in a driveway, you can soon find out if they are residents of the building or not.
In reality, you would put a note on the windshield warning them that they will be dealt with under the appropriate by-law before you took any more drastic action.
To deal with outsiders coming into your car park and parking illegally, put up a sign that says illegally parked cars will be clamped or towed (subject to the relevant by-law) and then get a volunteer to have their car clamped for a couple of days in a prominent spot. They’ll be gone like snow on water.
The laws on clamping and towing vary from state to state – just like strata law, but here’s the Act in Victoria, which seems to suggest you need local council to ‘adopt’ your car park. You will find the relevant laws in Queensland on page 374 of this document which says the vehicle owner has to ‘expressly’ give permission for clamping, so it’s open to even further interpretation.